J. Kent Mathewson



J. Kent Mathewson has winning verdicts in more than seventy cases for a wide variety of clients ranging from product manufacturers, physicians, and law firms, to the Chicago White Sox Baseball Club. He has successfully represented at trial both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of business, commercial, and intellectual property disputes in state and federal courts.

As part of his frequent defense of professional negligence and product liability claims, he has developed special expertise in the defense of ophthalmologists and ophthalmic device manufacturers, having obtained over thirty successful jury verdicts in such matters alone.

In recent years, Mr. Mathewson has continued an active trial practice in a variety of jurisdictions and achieved victories in jury cases saving his clients over $40 million in requested damages.

In 2016, Mr. Mathewson received the Defense Achievement Award from Jury Verdict Reporter. This award honors elite defense lawyers for consistently delivering exceptional results for their clients in high-verdict potential jury trials.

In 2006, based on his trial success, Mr. Mathewson was named Attorney of the Year in Illinois by American Physicians Assurance. Mr. Mathewson successfully tried six jury cases in state and federal courts ranging from allegations of business torts and breach of contract to medical malpractice cases involving ophthalmology, emergency medicine, stroke and vascular disease. In the same year he also obtained summary judgment in the defense of a legal malpractice case seeking in excess of $30 million in damages.

His litigation expertise has led to invitations to speak before various professional groups, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Illinois Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, the New England Ophthalmological Society, and the Chicago Bar Association.

Mr. Mathewson has been named a “Leading Lawyer” since 2004 by the Leading Lawyers Network in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Medical Malpractice Defense Law, and Products Liability Defense Law. He has also been annually recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by the Super Lawyers Magazine in the area of Civil Litigation Defense since 2006. He was recently identified as one of the top ten product liability lawyers in Illinois, and one of the top ten medical malpractice defense lawyers in the state.  In 2021 he was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® in the specialty of medical malpractice law.

Mr. Mathewson is one of the founding partners of Donohue Brown. He was previously a partner with Baker & McKenzie, after he received his law degree from The University of Chicago School of Law. He received his undergraduate degree with honors from Dartmouth College.

He is a former President of the Trial Lawyers Club of Chicago and has served as Chairman of the firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Mathewson also is a member of the Colorado Bar.

Mr. Mathewson is also active in the community. He has served as a member and as the Chairman of the Winnetka Community House Board of Governors and as a member of the school board at the School of Saints Faith, Hope and Charity. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Loyola Academy Hockey Club.

In his spare time, Mr. Mathewson enjoys playing hockey, golf and tennis, and skiing with his family.



  • J.D., University of Chicago School of Law, 1982
  • B.A., Dartmouth College, cum laude and with distinction, 1979


  • Defense Achievement Award from Jury Verdict Reporter (2016)
  • Illinois Super Lawyer in Civil Litigation Defense (2006 – 2021)
  • Leading Lawyers Network Member selected by peers in Commercial Litigation, Medical Malpractice Defense Law, and Products Liability Defense Law
  • American Physicians Assurance Attorney of the Year in Illinois
  • Trial Lawyer Club of Chicago (Past President)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2021 (Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 (Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 (Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants)


  • Illinois
  • Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


Plaintiff v. Defendant Ophthalmologist and Hospital


Defendant Ophthalmologist and Hospital


Verdict for the Defense.

Donohue Brown’s Kent Mathewson and Laura DeDecker successfully defended a vitreous and retinal specialist and his clinic in a high-stakes six-week trial involving a patient who went blind in one ...


Nocchi v. Defendant Ophthalmologist


Defendant Ophthalmologist


Defense Verdict.

DBMS successfully defended an ophthalmologist in a jury trial in Rockford. Plaintiff had alleged medical negligence against the defendant physician with regard to radial keratotomy surgery and the subsequent enhancements ...


In the news

DBMS Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024

Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth is proud to announce that thirteen of the firm’s attorneys have been selected by their ...

Kent Mathewson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

On March 10, 2023, in recognition of his many years of service to the ophthalmological community, Kent Mathewson was presented ...
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